As I expected, my first day back in the working world was a bit rough, mainly because I had to wake up at 7am and I’ve been nothing but a bum for the last four months. I was told to be at work for 8:45am on my first day so I didn’t want to be late. I can’t remember the last time I woke up that early for work. I know I rolled into work around 10am on my first day on Halo.

The work day itself was fine. I was met with a steady stream of familiar and friendly faces. People went out of their way to welcome me back and they seemed pleased to see me. As with almost every first day, I had to set up my computer, install some stuff, grab a crap-ton of files off the server, and read up on some documentation. I’m still without a TV for my consoles and need a few cables but that should be ironed out in a few days.

I can say it was a bit surreal being back in the big Burnaby campus. I’ve had two separate stints working there: two years as a QA tester between 2000 and 2002 and then about a year when Black Box was forced to move from downtown Vancouver in late 2009. I wasn’t exactly happy with my job when EA finally laid me off in November of 2010, so I was pleased to leave Burnaby behind at the time. As you might imagine, there were a lot of different memories going through my head today.

My energy was fading fast in the late afternoon. The early morning coupled with actually having to do real work during the whole day made me want to nap bad. The first couple weeks of a new job is usually not that great as you try to figure out all this new stuff. I need to get settled and learn so much new tech. Obviously these last few months have made me soft. Nothing was a struggle for me. I woke up whenever I wanted to and I did pretty much whatever I wanted. When you work, you develop a certain cadence or rhythm to your day that helps you succeed and survive. I don’t have that right now. It’s like a callous that you form, when work grinds at you. I don’t have that anymore. I’m as delicate as a newborn baby right now.

I wish I could ease my way back into the working world. Work two or three days a week for the first month and then slowly ease into the full work week. Alas, life is not so kind. I have to go back tomorrow for another eight hours. Mondays mean something again. I already crave a Friday. Things were a lot more fun when I didn’t care what day it was.


If Wolfram Alpha is to be believed it has been 4 months and 20 days since I last had to go to work. I must admit, I enjoyed every single one of those days. Though I loved the people I worked with and the company itself, working on Halo was not an easy task. I think a lot of my co-workers were at risk of burnout and I certainly was feeling some stress, so when October 10, 2014 rolled around, I was pretty happy to see that day. I felt particular elation on the first Sunday evening after my contract ended, that evening being October 12th. I didn’t have to be at work on Monday morning, didn’t need to be anywhere really, so there was no need to bed at a decent hour. I stayed up late, turned off my alarm clock (oh how good that felt), and slept in until I was good and ready to wake up.

That whole first week was just about getting rest and recovering from a whole summer’s worth of long hours. I immediately started eating better and though I didn’t know it at the time, I was also immediately started losing six pounds. After refreshing myself with a week’s worth of rest, the whole world was in front of me. I had a liberating sense of freedom. Admittedly, there was a lot of video game playing and late nights/early mornings. I recall a good stretch of time where I was staying up very, very late. Seeing the sunrise was a common occurrence and I began sleeping when people were just getting into work and waking up when people were going home from their jobs. I was just getting up at 3, 4, or sometimes 5pm. I recognized that I the complete freedom to do so but somehow it seemed like it would be better if I went to bed at a more decent hour. So, I dialed it in and started to go to bed at a more decent 4am hour.

I’ve appreciated my time off. I know that most people don’t have the luxury of just deciding not to work for four plus months. No matter what job you have, it kinda sucks to have to get up every day and go to work. Almost everyone wants to be doing something else with their time other than being work. I always kept that in mind during my time off. After an eight-hour gaming binge that started at 2pm on a Monday, I was more than aware that most people couldn’t spend that much time on a leisurely activity on a random basis. I was very thankful that if I decided that I wanted to just read a new book for the entire day, I could, and without any second thoughts.

Of course, there are some regrets. Every time, I have these long periods of freedom, I regret not being able to accomplish a few things. I regret not taking perhaps one more trip. I briefly toyed with going to London, England in late October but laziness took over. I regret not getting farther with that game I was making. I had the high-level concept figured out and installed all the tools I needed but again, I got lazy. When faced with either putting in some work or playing games or watching cat videos on YouTube, the lazy won out again. Lastly, I regret not leveraging my freedom of time more. Most people can’t regularly be somewhere at 3pm every Tuesday or 4am every Monday morning. I didn’t want to be at my local Denny’s at 2am every night but I should have explored things like what does a sunrise on Grouse Mountain look like? What kinds of foods can I get at 4am at the airport? Is there a weird club that only meets at 3am every Wednesday? Stuff like that.

So, once again, tomorrow morning I shall re-enter the workforce. It is my sincerest hope that I picked the best job that was available to me at the time. I go back to EA at the big campus in Burnaby for the first time since I was laid off November of 2010. It’s been over four years since I’ve worked there. I am sure it will be weird for a few days as memories (both good and bad) flood back to me. This is a one-year contract, so I know I have another opportunity for free time coming up in early 2016. Until then, however, tomorrow is another first day on the job.